Spokane Prosecutor Says Jail Officer Justified In Shooting 70-Year-Old Woman In December

Mar 23, 2021

Spokane County's downtown jail as seen in March of 2021.
Credit Rebecca White/SPR

The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has determined that a corrections’ officer's use of lethal force against a 70-year-old woman last December was justified.

According to a news release, Sgt. Justin White shot Nancy King after King allegedly pulled a knife and tried to force her way into the jail lobby. The release says White ordered her to drop the weapon before he shot, and she continued to walk toward him.

Toxicology reports found that King may have been under the influence of alcohol. About three hours before she went to the jail, Spokane Police also interacted with her when she allegedly made a bomb threat against a hospital emergency room and Frontier Behavioral Health.

The officers were concerned she was experiencing a mental health issue, but their request for a crisis responder was denied.